A fast moving 3 alarm fire on Friday night destroyed the Chester P. Tuttle Post at 88 Bancroft Street in Auburn. AuburnMassFire reports the blaze was first reported to the Auburn Emergency Communication Center just before 8PM on March 15th. Crews arrived 4 minutes later to view heavy smoke coming from the roof.
There were over 200 people in the building when the fire was reported. The fire alarm was pulled and an orderly evacuation took place. A 3rd alarm was called ten minutes later as firefighters had to leave the building due to deteriorating conditions. Minutes later the roof of the building collapsed.
Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. says there were no injuries reported to any patrons or firefighters. “With the amount of people in the building at the time of the fire we are extremely lucky tonight that we did not have any serious injuries and that everyone was able to escape the building quickly.”
Chief Coleman says that the fire was well advanced when fire crews arrived and that there was a heavy fire load already in the attic. “The fire had been burning for sometime in the attic space and was well advanced before anyone in the building knew it.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is not believed to be suspicious in nature. Auburn firefighters were assisted on scene by mutual aid companies from Oxford, Millbury, Leicester, Charlton, Webster, Sturbridge and Worcester.